Everything we do has a cost. The money we spend comes from just a few sources: property taxes, service charges, developer charges, facility revenue, programs and other levels of government. We spend that money through four budgets: capital; tax-supported operating; non-tax-supported operating and capital; and local boards and shared services.
Employees across the organization work hard to determine what the City needs to spend its money on, and the budgets needed to make everything work. Senior leadership weigh priorities and financial realities to propose a final balanced budget to City Council.
Councillors consider what they’ve heard from the community, make changes and approve the budget.
It’s a long process because there is a lot at stake. Our budget is a reflection of our direction, our strategies and our vision. It’s how we intend to meet the needs of a growing and changing Guelph. It’s complex and time intensive. It’s a perpetual cycle and balancing act.
How could we improve the process – make it easier for residents to get involved and help decide what gets funded and how? How can we make such a complicated process easy to navigate, understand and explain? How do we connect budget and strategic planning? How do we fund the things that need doing now, while making sure there is enough in the pot for the future?